California State Bar’s unfair billing practices

Tomorrow is February 1, the deadline for California lawyers to pay their dues to the California State Bar.  I keep this post bookmarked as a reminder of how that organization tries to trick its members every year into paying more than they have to.  No wonder lawyers are so cynical. 

Tim Kowal

Tim Kowal is a husband, father, and attorney in Orange County, California, Vice President of the Orange County Federalist Society, commissioner on the OC Human Relations Commission, and Treasurer of Huntington Beach Tomorrow. The views expressed on this blog are his own. You can follow this blog via RSS, Facebook, or Twitter. Email is welcome at timkowal at


  1. Interesting. I paid the 410 on line.

    I think the bigger issue (and more universal) is that there is price discrimination. A new lawyer who might or might not be employed and might or might not be making a good salary pays just as much in dues as an equity partner at a major firm or successful plaintiff’s lawyer.

    • I wound up paying online, too. The first few options let you choose to increase your contribution. The next screen makes you activate the pull down menu to reveal the “deductions.” Sneaky.

  2. You just saved me some money! I have been inactive for years and wondered about the price hike in recent years. I knew I could deduct the voluntary contributions but didn’t realize there were other ones I could deduct. I paid closer attention because of your blog. My fees dropped from $125.00 to $95.00.

    I rarely practice but about once a year it would be nice to if I could be an official attorney without paying the high dues. Even the scaled dues are high if you don’t derive money from practicing.

    Thanks again

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